by Kristin Holt
I've had the privilege and opportunity of participating in one box set, four anthologies (collection of multiple authors' novellas), and two multi-author series. Who knew there was a difference?
Box Set: Full-length novels, previously published, bundled together (single author or multiple authors).
Anthology: Novella-length titles, connected by theme, bundled together (single author or multiple authors).
Multi-Author Series: Series of related titles by multiple authors, released individually.
All three kinds of collaborations proved exciting, energizing, motivating (someone else's deadline has a way of lighting a fire under this independent author), and frankly--stressful. Each project had benefits (some significant) and each project had drawbacks. Once or twice, I found myself in the early communication stages of a project and relieved I'd not yet signed a contract--the project wasn't a good fit for me and my publishing schedule (and the personality dynamics of the group grated)--and I needed to withdraw.
In today's publishing environment, where so many of us enjoy the freedoms (and frustrations) inherent to Indie Publishing, we might be less accepting of such considerations (individual preferences, personality dynamics, publishing schedules and deadlines)... And as we're highly attuned to being our own advocates and the many opportunities available to us, we might be far more involved and publish far more titles in a calendar year than previously "allowed".
In two previous posts by Paty Jager (Anthology: A Collection of Stories) and Michelle Somers (Stretching My Creative Comfort Zone), these talented and knowledgeable ladies listed pros and cons for authors. I Googled the pros and cons today, as well as years ago when first invited to participate in a group project, and any given writer will express different benefits and challenges. After all, we're as uniquely individual as are our fingerprints.
I'll add one big personal "pro": without the invitation to participate in an anthology published by Mirror Press, Mail-Order Bride: A Timeless Romance Anthology, I wouldn't be a USA Today Bestselling Author (yet). This title made that prestigious bestseller list, and gave me those bragging rights. Big pro. The cons paled in comparison.
One big "con" most authors will express is the time limitation. We simply can't write everything we want to--and if we contribute to a group project, we probably can't (also) get to our own. It's a rare project that can do double-duty--but that did work to my advantage with Pleasance's First Love (book #2 in Six Brides for Six Gideons--my own series, and book #6 in Grandma's Wedding Quilts--a multi-author series).
"Pros" for Readers buying Anthologies:
- Competitive pricing
- Discover new-to-you authors
- Favorite Themes (like Christmas, Valentine's Day, Cowboys, etc.)
- Low financial risk to try authors you're unfamiliar with
- High R.O.I. (Return on Investment--many reading hours of pleasure for a comparatively low cost)
Can you name additional Pros for readers?
Given the Pros, I can't think of any Cons. Can you?
My newest anthology is Gunsmoke& Gingham, a collection of five sweet western historical romance novellas by five authors, and only 99-cents! This set came out on February 15th, and has been well-loved by readers. (36 reviews on Amazon, and a rating of 5.0 stars.) Learn much more about this anthology here.
My newest mutli-author series is Grandma's Wedding Quilts, with my title Pleasance's First Love. This series has a wide range of story ideas--and the connecting thread is the family connection (all descendants of Grandma Mary, who made wedding quilts for each of her grandchildren.) This series (and my own book) have been highly rated too. Learn much more about this series and my title here.
Hi! I'm Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author.
I write frequent articles (or view recent posts easily on my Home Page, scroll down) about the nineteenth century American West–every subject of possible interest to readers, amateur historians, authors…as all of these tidbits surfaced while researching for my books. I also blog monthly at Sweet Romance Reads, Sweet Americana Sweethearts, and Romancing the Genres.
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